Goals Abundant In Oiler Scrimmage

If you like to see a lot of scoring, you would have enjoyed the Tulsa Oilers first intra-squad scrimmage Tuesday night.

New Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay split the 30 men he invited to training camp into blue and gray teams and let them have at it. When the ice stopped flying the Oilers gray team beat the Oilers blue team by a score of 9-4.  Instead of a traditional three-20 minute periods Ramsay had his players play two 30 minutes “halves” to see what they could do.  

Notable new faces were the two players who scored the first two goals,  forwards T. J. Caig and Rob Hisey,.  Hisey and Caig combined to score and assist each other, with Caig getting the first goal and Hisey getting the second.  

The Oilers looked good for only their second day in camp.  The team has speed and size, and they appeared to be communicating well on the ice. That’s more telling considering Tuesday night was the first time many of them had played since the end of last season.  Goalies Kevin Armstrong and Marty Magers were sharp, although Magers was outgunned in the first half of the game, giving up 5 goals to Armstrong’s 3.

It’s a little early to tell who are the frontrunners to make the team, as Coach Ramsay must trim the roster to 18 by the time the season starts.  Clearly the tandem of Caig and Hisey are contenders; not only did they score but worked well on the ice.  Jeff Marshall, a 5-11 forward out of Kyle, Saskatchewan, also scored two goals in the grey team’s winning effort, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him make the final roster.   

Standing out among the returning players from last season was Mike Beausoleil.  He took one of the games few penalties, but he was keeping the younger players from getting too out of hand when things got rough.

Tuesday night was also unique for most Oilers fans in attendance when they saw former Oklahoma City Blazers forward Marty Standish suit up in his familiar #8 jersey and take to the ice as a member of the Tulsa Oilers.  Standish had a lot of ice time and was active in every play when he was out there.

The team will play two preseason games on the road prior to the final cuts being made.  All in all, Coach Ramsay has his work cut out for him as the Oilers look different than they did a season ago.  Clearly, the team has changed not only in personnel and leadership, but in team philosophy.

Players last night looked as if they were communicating, and that’s something the team has been missing the past few seasons.  The Oilers are looking for a reversal of fortune this season as they are coming off of their worst season in team history since the rebirth of the Central Hockey League in 1992.

{gallery}/sports/oilers/scrim{/gallery} Whatever combination Coach Ramsay decides on, the Oilers begin that effort on Oct. 16th in Mississippi against the Riverkings, and they open the home side of their schedule on Oct. 24th against the Wichita Thunder in the BOK Center.

Photos: Kevin Pyle